As the British World Championships squad for pool swimming heads to Edinburgh for final preparations, the 6-strong open water contingent is also in the home stretch of getting ready for their upcoming international competition.
Olympian Jack Burnell and teammate Caleb Hughes will take on the 10k race, while Toby Robinson and Tim Shuttleworth will be tackling the 5k event. Burnell was ruled out of the medals in Rio due to a 10k disqualification and was also disqualified during the 10k race at the most recent U.S. Open Water Nationals 10k. The 24-year-old did reach the top of the podium in Abu Dhabi this past March, however, having won that stop of the FINA/HOSA 10k Marathon Swimming World Cup.
Looking forward to a potential redemption of sorts in Budapest Budapest, Burnell says, “My build up to Worlds has gone well. Considering the number of races we have done this season, everything has gone to plan and slotted in really nicely. I think I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in.
“In my training I’ve managed to get best times which means the quality of what I’m doing in the water is really good. I am going into the Worlds feeling strong so we’ll see what happens.
“I’ve competed at Lake Balaton before for a World Cup that event I won. When we were there it was quite flat but in marathon anything can happen and change but I think we’ve prepared well so I’m looking forward to it. Lake Balaton is a great venue. I can’t wait to go back.”
For the women, Danielle Huskisson, the lone non-Loughborough-based team member, will headline both the 10k and 5k races for GBR, while 2016 World Junior Champion Alice Dearing will join her in the longer event.
Huskisson is also feeling prepared headed into her Hungary campaign, stating, “I am really looking forward to the World Championships. This is my third Worlds and I am the most prepared I’ve ever been. We have been doing a lot of hard, back to back racing in the last few months, which has been great for gaining experience as well as race toughness. This will be a great start to this Olympic cycle.
“The race venue is quite familiar as we raced in Lake Balaton back in 2014 as part of the World Cup series. It produced one of my best performances so I am looking forward to heading back.”
Marathon Swimming Lead Bernie Dietzig says, “The World Championships is always incredibly competitive. We will be expecting a huge field in both the men’s and women’s 10km and we have done everything we can this season to be ready for this.
“We have competed in more races this season and I believe that has been a vital part in the preparations for the World Championships. We have a team that have a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in Budapest.”
The British Marathon Swimming Team comprises:
Jack Burnell – National Centre, Loughborough
Caleb Hughes – National Centre, Loughborough
Toby Robinson – National Centre, Loughborough
Tim Shuttleworth – National Centre, Loughborough
Alice Dearing – National Centre, Loughborough
Danielle Huskisson – University of Stirling
Quotes courtesy of British Swimming.